The G9500 Jim Dandy Flat Top is a very affordable parlor guitar from Gretsch that doesn’t look cheap at all. Rather it convincingly evokes authentic ’30s era vibe with simple aesthetics that you will want to actually play on your front porch – just like the days of old.
It is part of the company’s Gretsch Roots Collection, a line of instruments that are based on the company’s earliest instruments. This guitar is said to be similar to the Gretsch Rex entry level parlor guitars that were available back in the 30’s through the 40’s. And just like the old parlor guitars which were affordable, the G9500 is very reasonably priced, perfect for young students and beginners. Even experienced players who are looking for a comfortable couch guitar will find the Jim Dandy Flat Top to be an easily accessible choice.
The design follows traditional 12-fret parlor guitars, with a small body built from agathis wood, which is known for being light, sturdy and affordable. Aside from guitars, this wood is popularly used by house and ship builders because of its reliability. Agathis has similar characteristics to pinewood which was popularly used on vintage parlor guitars in the first half of the 20th century. Obviously, pinewood is not as sturdy and does not age well, hence the replacement. The front bout of the body is also elongated, much like old parlor guitars, this simple adjustment adds substantial projection.
Check out the official video demo and see the Jim Dandy Flat Top for yourself:
Other features include C shape nato neck, 12″ radius rosewood fretboard, and 18 vintage style frets. It has a short scale length measured at 24″, a nut width of 1.6875″, and a ’50s style Gretsch headstock.
If you are wondering who the signature artist is, you’d be surprised to find that “Jim Dandy” is not a person, it is actually a colloquial term that means “excellent”, a fitting label for this parlor guitar in my opinion.
The Gretsch G9500 Jim Dandy Flat Top usually sells new for just under $170. Visit Gretsch Guitars for more information.
4 thoughts on “Gretsch G9500 Jim Dandy Flat Top”
I too bought this as a couch guitar while working from home during COVID. I have several >$1000 guitars but wanted one I could leave out or take with me and not have to worry about. It required a bit of set up out of the box but now I have a hard time putting it down:
Neck: I tightened the truss rod a bit with the included tool to reduce some bowing/lower the action
Frets: The frets felt a bit coarse when the strings rubbed against them. I took some super fine sandpaper and fine steel wool and polished up the frets to clean them/smooth them out.
Saddle: I ordered a replacement bone saddle (Blisstime 2 Sets 4pcs 6 String Acoustic Guitar Bone Bridge Saddle and Nut Made of Real Bone: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00USQY0CK/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 , ~$9) and sanded it down to lower the action to where I like it.
Strings: I always put flat wound strings on small body guitars … they really mellow out the tone. I prefer D’Addario Electric Guitar Chromes Flat Wound Jazz Lite, .011 – .050, ECG24 ($14)
So for an extra $25 and a little bit of time (never a bad thing to spend some time getting to know your new guitar) I’ve got a $160 guitar that’s a joy to play and I don’t have to stress about keeping it safe.
This is the only guitar I’ve ever purchased without playing ahead of time (Due to Covid). Based on reviews it seemed like best quality for least amount of money. Overall I’m quite disappointed – I guess I shouldn’t be as it was so cheap but all the reviews I read made me expect more than I received. It feels quite cheap in the neck, the frets don’t feel smooth (especially when bending) and it has an odd hum to the sound – but that may be appreciated by some. Overall I wish I spent more and got a better guitar. The reviews are good generally of it but temper your expectations – it is still a cheap guitar.